I don’t always feel pretty.
There are those troublesome spots that have a tendency to bug me. You know, the squishy tummy that I still like to blame on the kiddos. I am often referred to as “skinny”, but I’m a few sizes up from the stick I once was. Things just don’t quite fit the way they once did. I actually contemplate how my clothes will make my tummy appear before getting dressed, whereas there was once a time in my life I could just throw on a t-shirt and jeans and get away with it.
I could change that with a modification in eating habits and a bit of exercise. I’m still contemplating whether the result will be worth the adjustment.
I’m a nail biter, and a lip chewer, and an eyelash puller. At any given time I either have a complete set of beautiful nails, or full, long eyelashes. Never both at the same time. At the moment, my nails look fantastic. This means I’ve stopped wearing mascara until I can grow some lashes back. I try really hard not to be self-conscious about this.
Within the past five years, I’ve developed these random red splotches on my skin. It’s not a disease, or a rash, or anything contagious. It comes and goes. It doesn’t itch, and when it’s covered up, I forget it’s there. But bathing suit season is coming up, and I’m just hoping no one at the pool thinks I have some sort of leprosy. I kid. I think.
But here is what I know:
- God, in His infinite creativity, made me and you and the rest of humanity throughout history. Not one of us has been an exact replica of another. God creates beauty and He doesn’t make mistakes. “God’s way is perfect. All the Lord’s promises prove true…” (2 Samuel 22:31)
- He has called me to take care of my body. Not to make it look a certain way, but to honor Him with it. “[Our bodies] were made for the Lord, and the Lord cares about our bodies.” (1 Corinthians 6:13b; NLT)
- My body will continue to age as I grow older. I won’t be named one of the world’s most beautiful people; my outward appearance does not match the standard of our culture. But the inner beauty that will shine outward as Christ continues to transform my heart… that will be breathtaking. (1 Peter 3:3-5)
So, what exactly does it look like to be beautiful? I’ve recently developed an interest in makeup and choosing clothes that make me feel pretty, but this doesn’t make me any more beautiful in God’s eyes.
I believe that our beauty comes out when we stop focusing on our imperfections and fix our eyes on Him instead. Our identity is found in Jesus Christ alone; not in the evaluations of those around us.
You know what God sees? When God looks at me, and when He looks at you, He sees His child. He sees how the words of others have damaged us and made us doubt His truths. He pleads with us to trust Him and find our value and worth in Him.
If we stop and listen, for even just a moment, we may hear things like…
- We are loved (Romans 8:35-39)
- We are royalty (Romans 8:15-17)
- We have purpose (Proverbs 20:5)
- We are beautiful (Psalm 45:11)
- We are a delight (Zephaniah 3:17)
It’s not about whether it’s okay to be beautiful. We don’t actually have a choice in the matter… we already are. God calls me beautiful, so who am I to say otherwise?